HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Discussion

Under the Radar - East Village Recs

  • 44
  • Share

I am a firm believer that the EV has the best food scene in NY and i've made it my personal mission to try and sample as many of the great places this neighborhood has to offer as possible. I've made some decent ground on all of the well known, typically recommended places, but now i'm looking for those places that fall just below the radar but are still worth a visit. One's that aren't analyzed to death on Eater or even really mentioned much on SE or CH.

Any thoughts?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Any examples of what you're looking for?

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      I guess some places I've enjoyed that I feel like aren't really well known are Kafana, Anyway Cafe, Jimmy's no 43. Actually I guess Jimmy's is pretty popular but I can never stop recommending it enough. Wechsler's and Resto Leon too.

      Anywhere that is particularly amazing makes the rounds, but i'm just looking for very serviceable places where on a Friday/Saturday night you'll be able to get a table pretty quickly.

      -----
      Resto Leon
      351 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

      Wechsler's
      120 1st Ave, New York, NY 10009

      Resto
      111 E 29th St Frnt 1, New York, NY 10016

      Kafana
      116 Avenue C, New York, NY 10009

    2. Mayahuel on E 6th. It's gotten some press, but it is certainly still UTR in terms of Manhattan folks.

      I think that's because they are making nichey tequila and mezcal drinks, and serving classic Mexican street food. This is not for everyone, but is certainly for ME. Woo hoo!

      -----
      Mayahuel
      304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

      1. A good friend of mine seems to have similar taste as you, and keeps a list of his EV favorites here:

        http://www.kartme.com/phil/nyc-best-e...

        You might like some of them!

        1. Agreed on Jimmy's 43 as an EV sleeper pick. That place isn't just a bar, it's a community college for hedonists.

          Esperanto for a good time, food not amazing but a great scene and its cheap.

          Royale for burgers, their spot has been blown up recently though.

          Tree for a nice bistro meal, love the short ribs.

          Desnuda for wine + ceviche + truffle oil popcorn - good date spot.

          www.immaculateinfatuation.com

          -----
          Royale
          157 Ave C, New York, NY 10009

          Desnuda
          122 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

          11 Replies
          1. re: iFat

            Thanks for all the recs, I haven't had the food at Mayahuel yet so i'll be sure to stop by there. Desnuda too.

            -----
            Desnuda
            122 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

            Mayahuel
            304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

            1. re: MinhLikesFood

              Not confident about what's over and under the radar, but I'd recommend Back Forty, Belcourt, the Ukrainian restaurant, Dirt Candy if you can enjoy creative vegetarian, Kasadela (Japanese izakaya), and recently opened Mark (sliders on St Marks). You will have to wait for a table at Back Forty on a Friday/Saturday prime time, Dirt Candy should be reserved, the others are quite doable.

              -----
              Back Forty
              190 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

              Kasadela
              647 E 11th St, New York, NY 10009

              Belcourt
              84 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003

              Dirt Candy
              430 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009

              1. re: Wilfrid

                Wilfrid, Dirt Candy reminded me of Graffiti. We need to get back to Belcourt. Simple bistro fare. Love their fried scallions.

                -----
                Belcourt
                84 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003

                Dirt Candy
                430 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009

                1. re: Wilfrid

                  Completely agree with the Mark recomendation. Everyone's talking about Bill's right now but I think Mark really makes a great slider.

                  1. re: MinhLikesFood

                    People are talking about Bill's because the hype machine is working overtime.

              2. re: iFat

                i must respectfully and emphatically disagree with you on royale. went there with a party of 12 people last month. every single person thought the burgers bordered on inedible and everyone who ate the beef had stomach issues the following day. i cannot offer a stronger recommendation to avoid royale at all costs.

                -----
                Royale
                157 Ave C, New York, NY 10009

                1. re: El Tigre

                  I can't understand why Belcourt is popular. The food was good but our waitress was incredibly rude and slow. Maybe she's new? Absolutely love Esperanto, Kasadela, Desnuda and Tree. I'll also add Kampuchea, though further South (not sure how literal people are on EV/LES)

                  I've got Jimmy's No. 43 on my wish list along with Dirt Candy!

                  http://www.StrumErika.com

                  -----
                  Belcourt
                  84 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003

                  Kasadela
                  647 E 11th St, New York, NY 10009

                  Jimmy's No. 43
                  43 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003

                  Desnuda
                  122 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                  Dirt Candy
                  430 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009

                  Belcourt
                  84 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003

                  Dirt Candy
                  430 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009

                  1. re: foodie4life

                    I've been to Belcourt 4 times and never had a service problem. The servers don't fawn over you but they're thoroughly professional.

                    The menu is a mixed bag. The lamb burger is outstanding, as are the accompanying fries. My girlfriend swears the octopus starter is excellent. That said, a pork belly starter (since taken off the menu) wasn't particularly good. The raviolo starter (also removed from the menu) was lackluster.

                    On the positive side the wine list, which tilted towards pricey, has since been balanced by a number of attractive choices under $40.

                    It's definitely worth a visit.

                    -----
                    Belcourt
                    84 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003

                  2. re: El Tigre

                    I am shocked to hear this about Royale. I have eaten there more thn 15 times and absolutely love the burgers. Perfect size and great grilles flavor. So sorry to hear of your experience. It must have been an off night because everyone I send there loves it. Sitting out in the backyard with a burger and a beer in the summer is one of my favorite nights.

                    -----
                    Royale
                    157 Ave C, New York, NY 10009

                    1. re: princeofpork

                      i had heard so many good things and was psyched to go but everything was just
                      really bad, not just the burgers but the beer tasted funny, like the hadn't cleaned the lines in a while, i didn't like the fries, and the over all intense bar vibe was just a bit much. i guess i could see the appeal (not in the food but the bar itself) for some people but i will defintely not be re-visiting .

                      on a more positive note, a place just below the EV in LES that i would highly recommend and absolutely describe as a hidden gem is Le French Diner, aka Zucco- DEE-LISCIOUS!

                      -----
                      Zucco
                      188 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

                    2. re: El Tigre

                      Wow. I've never had a bad meal at Royale! I totally suggest Casimir, Kasadela, Minca, Kafana & Luke's Lobster...

                      -----
                      Royale
                      157 Ave C, New York, NY 10009

                      Kasadela
                      647 E 11th St, New York, NY 10009

                      Kafana
                      116 Ave C, New York, NY 10009

                      Minca
                      536 E 5th St Bsmt A, New York, NY 10009

                  3. Grape and Grain, a wine and small plates spot; a bit out of the way, so not so busy that you can't generally find a table, but busy enough to be a pleasant atmosphere

                    -----
                    Grape and Grain
                    620 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009

                    1. Try Giano on East 7th Street, Romantic venue with very good Italian food. A hidden gem.

                      -----
                      Giano
                      126 E 7th Street, New York, NY 10009

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Will4Food

                        Yeah, I love this place. It's on a great food block so I think it gets overshadowed. But the place is really cozy, and the prices are pretty low compared to quality. Giano definitely doesn't get enough love on CH.

                        -----
                        Giano
                        126 E 7th Street, New York, NY 10009

                        1. re: egit

                          I've walked by Giano so many times but always got weirded out by how empty it was. The place does look great but could never bring myself to go in. Glad to hear it's worth it.

                          -----
                          Giano
                          126 E 7th Street, New York, NY 10009

                          1. re: MinhLikesFood

                            If you walk by it in the summer and it looks empty, it could be because everyone's out in the garden.

                      2. I don't think that it qualifies as under the radar anymore, but Carcas Arepas is so delicious.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: newfoodie

                          They're also insanely busy. The last time we stopped by there were lines out the door at 7:00 on a Saturday. Get there early or be prepared to wait a long time.

                        2. Mancora.

                          -----
                          Mancora
                          99 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: D...DF

                            I'm trying to remember if you ever mentioned what you like there, other than the pollo a la brasa. I like that but haven't been impressed with anything else.

                            1. re: Pan

                              The chicken is phenomenal. Also the tamales (ask if they have any green ones available), antichuchos, parihuela (seafood soup), chicken soup, and ceciche de mariscos.

                              1. re: D...DF

                                Thanks for the recs, but I think the chicken is merely good, not phenomenal. The last time I got anticuchos there, they were burnt - I mean, really carbonized. I haven't ordered them since. But that was some time ago.

                                1. re: Pan

                                  Sorry to hear that. Anticuchos need to bleed!

                          2. Lived in EV for 8 yrs. These are my faves in no order (at least ones that shouldn't be too bad on Fri/Sat nite): Tree - good value, Brick Lane - probably the best spot on curry row, Minca on 5th, Lavagna across from Minca, - eaten there about 20 times but can only vouch for the rigatoni w/fennel, sausage & peas, amazing!, Luke's - one of my new favorites, Porchetta, Casimir - pretty servicable steak frites, Itzocan - really tiny spot that does kinda rustic mexican, I Coppi, Pizza Gruppo - great pie.

                            -----
                            Lavagna
                            545 E. 5th St., New York, NY 10009

                            Minca
                            536 E 5th St Bsmt A, New York, NY 10009

                            1. Lived here for 4 years - definitely the best food area in the city. Some of the below have been mentioned and some not. I find them all to be excellent after dining at all of them very, very many times.

                              Barbone - Italian
                              Café Cortadito - Cuban
                              Royale - Burger
                              Grain & Grape - Wine/beer gastropub
                              Against the Grain - Wine/beer gastropub
                              Minca - Ramen
                              Yerba Buena - Latin
                              Cafe Mogador - Moroccan
                              Porchetta - Italian
                              The redhead - Southern

                              -----
                              Barbone
                              186 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

                              Royale
                              157 Ave C, New York, NY 10009

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: oliver_selwyn

                                Going to Yerba Buena tomorrow night for the first time. Any recommendations?

                                -----
                                Yerba Buena
                                23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

                                1. re: oliver_selwyn

                                  wow, tried the redhead, really great food. fried chicken is amazing and the low country shrimp is equally great. tasty and reasonable, great atmosphere and nice waitstaff. gonna have to try the bacon peanut brittle next time.

                                  -----
                                  The Redhead
                                  349 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

                                  1. re: cocoman

                                    NB the "brittle" isn't really a hard sheet of candy like you'd expect, more like sugared and spiced party mix. Tasty but slightly confusing.

                                  2. re: oliver_selwyn

                                    Second Grape & Grain.
                                    Adding: Tai Thai, Flea Market Cafe (nice brunch)

                                    www.thelunchbelle.com

                                  3. if you dont mind heading a little further south Bar Basso on Elizabeth St

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: foody1964

                                      I'm unfamiliar with the place. What do you recommend there? (Which cross streets, by the way?)

                                      1. re: Pan

                                        I think foody1964 is referring to Bar Bossa, which is a Brazilian bar/restaurant in Nolita on Elizabeth (between Houston & Prince). They serve comfort food and have a great bar for drinks. I personally think the food is pretty decent for the price, but not go-out-of-my-way good.

                                        As for the OP's question, I would suggest Uminoie, a Japanese restaurant in the EV that serves comfort food in a low-key setting. They also have a pretty extensive shochu+sake list.

                                        1. re: NYAngeleno

                                          i actually had what was by far and wide the absolute worst dining experience i've ever had in new york at Uminoie. have cringed every time i've heard the name ever since...

                                          -----
                                          Uminoie
                                          86 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10003

                                          1. re: El Tigre

                                            I just walked by that place last night and was completely intrigued by it. That bad, huh? The menu was surely off the beaten path, I was hoping they'd be able to pull it off.

                                            1. re: El Tigre

                                              Hmm, I think tastes are subjective, but "absolute worst dining experience" is a pretty strong phrase. What did you try and what did you not like about it?

                                              I think it's a nice low-key place with very homey food. The appetizers are decent but not amazing, but I've tried many things on their menu, and I like the entrees. I particularly like the nikujaga (beef stew), Japanese meat balls with egg on top, and the goto udon (which is different from a lot of other udon bowls in the city). I've gone several times, and the food's been pretty good, with the exception of the last time ( a few weeks ago), where it was more bland than I remember (as if they had not added enough salt). I chalked that up to a one-time blip rather than a general decline, though others might correct me. Also, generally the dishes are $8-$12, which is pretty good for NY.

                                          2. re: Pan

                                            Pan,
                                            Bar Basso is on Elizabeth between Houston and Prince.
                                            Some fav items are codfish and potatoe app., grilled calamari app. basil tomatoe soup, a fish stew, and a variety of nice panini's- grilled properly with a little side salad. Apparently they have awesome french toast. Dessert--tapioca pudding with bruleed bananas--sssooo good. Sangria is average but other nice cocktails. Even at a busy hour they have lovely service.

                                        2. Based on this post we went to Mayahuel for dinner on Sat night. Has to wait about 30 min or 4 of us to get inside. However, once inside it was another 30 min for a table. The service was pretty inattentive but the drinks were excellent and nice size. The food was quite tasty and the portion were slightly small but right where they should be for the price. 2 of us has the hanger steak which had great flavor and supper tender texture. We also had the lobster cerviche and the pallea. Both dishes were excellent and well presented. The food was certainly good and the prices made it even better. The only issue was the spotty service and cramped conditions. Probably would not go back again unless during the week or off hours.

                                          -----
                                          Mayahuel
                                          304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

                                          1. I love Wechsler's! To this great list I would add: Decibel, Three of Cups, Downtown Bakery (very casual Mexican), Paprika, Yummy House (casual Chinese), Yokocho Village, Quantum Leap (veggie), Mama's (BYOB!), Mara's, May's & Sigiri (Sri Lankan).

                                            For diner/casual B&H and Stage are amazing - not under the radar but so good!

                                            -----
                                            Three of Cups
                                            83 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                            Downtown Bakery
                                            69 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                            Quantum Leap
                                            226 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

                                            Yummy House
                                            76 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                            Wechsler's
                                            120 1st Ave, New York, NY 10009

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Jacquelyn

                                              Oops forgot to mention my all time east village fav Lucien. I've been countless times and have never tasted any entree less than perfection. The duck magret & confit with figs is probably my favorite dish in NYC.